About the Energy Initiative

The Energy Initiative is a collective of planners, designers, and others with an interest in the intersection between the spaces we inhabit and the ever-shifting sources of the energy we consume. The initiative provides a forum for discussion, investigation, and contribution to the advancement of collective knowledge of the planning and design professional fields in the area of energy.

For more information about the Northern Section Energy Initiative, contact us.

Recent News

Contra Costa County tidal marsh restoration will be the largest of its kind in California. But it’s taking forever

By Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, December 6, 2021. Tidal marshes are an excellent carbon sink and promote biodiversity, but a thorough permitting process is still required.

Appeals court rejects last legal challenge to California bullet train

By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times, November 30, 2021. The court affirmed the use of Proposition 1A bond funds for a blended system of high-speed and improved conventional rail.

An Oakland urban forester’s work reveals the plight of the city’s namesake

By Andres Picon, San Francisco Chronicle, November 25, 2021. Oak advocates say city and state leaders could do more to protect the trees and safeguard their status as a keystone species throughout California.

Los Altos Hills passes “urgency ordinance” to restrict SB9 applications — inviting legal challenge

By Alexei Koseff, San Francisco Chronicle, November 24, 2021. Mayor Kavita Tankha defended the rules, likely the first in the state, as accommodating residents’ desires to maintain their privacy, preserve open space, and reduce fire risk.

Skunk Train owner acquires Fort Bragg mill site, upending city plans

By Mary Callahan, The Press Democrat, November 24, 2021. The city had just pulled $3.5 million in bond funding to prove to the state that it was ready to tackle the site’s environmental needs on the site when word arrived that Georgia-Pacific had settled with Mendocino Railway.

Superior Court upholds Lafayette’s controversial 315-unit housing project

By Shomik Mukherjee, East Bay Times, November 20, 2021. Years after a citizen group forced the developer to submit scaled-down plans, changes in state law revived the original project with more affordable housing.

In first, Audubon Society sues a California wind project

By Amanda Barlett, SFGate, November 19, 2021. Alameda County’s approval of a new facility at Altamont Pass has been challenged as threat to Golden Eagles and other avian species.

Association of Bay Area Governments formally denies nearly all regional housing needs allocation appeals

By Daniel Maroon, Alexander Merritt, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP blog, November 18, 2021. The Administrative Committee signaled strong confidence in the draft RHNA plan prepared by ABAG’s Housing Methodology Committee.

‘A spectacular landscape’ — Vast Redwood Coast ranch to become public nature preserve

By Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, November 18, 2021. The property is central to the Wildlands Conservancy’s long-term goal of protecting and providing access to much of the Eel River.

California is being denied $12 billion in federal transit funds. Here’s how it’ll hurt the Bay Area

Ricardo Cano, San Francisco Chronicle, November 12, 2021. A Labor Department challenge to a 2013 public employee pension reform law could block billions for transit system improvements and service support.

Oakland, LA, piloting universal basic mobility

By Laura Bliss, CityLab, November 11, 2021. Will giving poorer households no- or low-cost access to efficient and sustainable transportation help them meet their potential in society?

Los Altos agrees to legal settlement over SB 35 project; developers still pursuing 5-story building

By Bruce Barton, Los Altos Town Crier, November 9, 2021. An incentive for a 4-story project linked with the settlement did not sway developers.

Wind promises new economic boom for Humboldt County

By Andrew Graham (editorial), Press Democrat, November 9, 2021. Previous investments in land, the current state budget, the new federal infrastructure bill, a deep water harbor with no bridge across it, and plenty of wind energy position Humboldt County for an energy future.

Two LA Assemblymembers block funds connecting High Speed Rail to Bay Area

By Roger Rudick, Streetsblog Cal, November 8, 2021. A political dispute over rail electrification prevents state matching funds required for further federal support.

“Save Livermore Downtown” group ordered to post $500,000 bond

By Joseph Geha, Bay Area News Group, November 8, 2021. A Superior Court judge ruled that “the preponderance of evidence supports the conclusion that the [lawsuit was] brought for the purpose of delaying the provision of affordable housing.”

One of Julia Morgan’s most famous works is open after sitting dormant for 30+ years

By Alissa Walker, Curbed, November 5, 2021. Morgan was the first woman to earn a civil engineering degree from UC Berkeley and the first woman licensed architect in California.

New California task force focused on housing laws

By Louis Hansen, Mercury News, November 4, 2021. It will consist of 12 lawyers and staff members with experience in land use and development, environmental law and civil rights.

New reports: Locations and factors favoring successful commercial to residential conversions

From UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation, November 1, 2021. One paper explores why commercial conversion potential in California is minimal absent policy changes, the other identifies a variety of specific factors that promote adaptive reuse.

Does the Bay Area have the water it needs to grow?

By Laura Feinstein and Anne Thebo, San Francisco Examiner, October 29, 2021. A new report suggests improved home plumbing and appliances, water-efficient landscaping, and greater private sector conservation efforts are necessary for growth.

Northern News Dec. 2021-Jan. 2022

(Photo, Juan Borrelli, AICP: SR 1’s Tom Lantos Tunnels bypass Devil’s Slide) • 5 excellent feature articles • Vote for Section Treasurer • Who’s where • 4 Where in the world pics • Donate to CPF planning student scholarships • And ICYMI, Planning news roundup curated 19 articles

Major Los Gatos project promised 270 apartments. Only 50 are happening.

By Tran Nguyen, San Jose Spotlight, October 20, 2021. The town council, mandated to rescind its rejection of the project, found approving the proposal a bitter pill to swallow.

Ljubljana, Slovenia, a small European capital, realizes a car-free city center

By Alexis Ferenczi, Vice, October 19, 2021. The once heavily-trafficked main road is now exclusively for pedestrians, cyclists, and a few electric carts.

HUD chief calls Oakland ‘transit village’ a national model for housing

By Sarah Ravani, San Francisco Chronicle, October 14, 2021. Marcia Fudge also noted that future federal resources and aid available to states will come with time limits on certain projects in order to expedite development.

New Sonoma County housing fund to lend millions in PG&E settlement money for major projects

By Ethan Varian, The Press Democrat, October 14, 2021. The fund is positioned to help Santa Rosa attract denser development after an update to its downtown plan.

Biden, Haaland approve two CA areas for offshore wind farms

By Matthew Daly, Associated Press, October 13, 2021. The two sites, off the coast of Humboldt and San Luis Obispo counties, will contribute to the Biden Administration’s nationwide offshore wind generation initiative.

CalEPA updates “national gold standard” geospatial tools for equitable environmental decision-making

From CalEPA, October 13, 2021. CalEnviroScreen 4.0 analyzes the latest data from 21 indicators of environmental, public health, and socioeconomic conditions.

Mountain View plans to ban cars, expand outdoor dining along its ‘crown jewel’

By Maggie Angst, San Jose Mercury News, October 13, 2021. Their decision comes as other cities like Palo Alto and Pleasanton have gone in the other direction.

New study: 25 years of data from Marin County reaffirms conservation protects biodiversity

By Daniel Roman, Bay Nature, October 13, 2021. Protection of riparian corridors helped populations of many bird species, but the study didn’t address how the conservation process works.

San Francisco’s Clement Street and the 15-minute city

By Soumya Karlamangla, New York Times, October 11, 2021. Few, if any, businesses on the street have permanently closed during Covid, according to the Clement Street Merchants Association.

Student loan forgiveness: public sector workers eligible in overhauled relief program

By Jessica Menton and Chris Quintana, USA Today, October 7, 2021. The government previously restricted eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to only certain types of federal student loans and specific repayment plans.

Downtown San Jose building height limits come with price tag

By Eli Wolfe, San Jose Spotlight, October 4, 2021. San Jose passed a crane fee on developers to compensate Mineta International Airport for lost revenues.

Solar energy: a new cash crop for farmers — and sheep can safely graze

By Xander Peters, The Christian Science Monitor, October 4, 2021. The transition toward renewable energy is creating a new kind of demand for rural land. Small farmers hope it can benefit the environment and their business.

Final Plan Bay Area 2050 released

From MTC-ABAG, October 1, 2021. Equity is interwoven into each of the 35 strategies encompassing housing, the economy, transportation, and the environment at the heart of Plan Bay Area 2050. But no plan can satisfy everyone.

Napa County may see a relatively high number of new housing units from SB 9

By Edward Booth, Napa Valley Register, September 29, 2021. City of Napa senior planner Michael Walker expects the roll out timeline of SB 9 units would be similar to ADUs.

Northern News November 2021

(Looking across Coyote Valley from Almaden in South San Jose. Photo: Juan Borrelli, AICP.) • Planning in CA vs IL • SB9, SB478, and other new laws (3) • ‘Meet a local planner’ • Wildfires and housing (2) • Burlingame on Planetizen • ‘Planning news roundup’ (14) • ‘Who’s where’ (11) • ‘Where in the world’ photos (4).

Northern News October 2021

IN THIS ISSUE • 4 excellent, locally authored articles and one from Next City about Oakland • 3 important announcements under Northern Section, plus 2 articles from Board members, 2 from HUD, and “Who’s where” (11) • 16 excerpts in “Planning news roundup” • and 4 photos in “Where in the world.”

Drought: Marin, Saudi crown prince eyeing same desalination plants

By Will Houston, Marin Independent Journal, September 20, 2021. Desalination is still the district’s secondary option to prevent it from running out of water as soon as July.

SF piloting tiny cabins for homeless people as a cost-effective alternative to tents

By Kevin Fagan, San Francisco Chronicle, September 20, 2021. 70 tiny homes (cabins), similar to those used in Oakland and other cities, will replace 44 tents in a city-sanctioned ‘safe sleeping village.’

Gov. Newsom abolishes most single-family zoning in California

By Marisa Kendall, East Bay Times, September 17, 2021. SB 9, now law, allows up to four units on single-family lots.

San Mateo loses housing ruling with big statewide implications

By Curtis Driscoll, San Mateo Daily Journal, September 14, 2021. Upholding the Housing Accountability Act could lead to new housing elements with clearer objective standards that expedite housing.

How can the pedestrian malls of the past inform today’s shared streets?

By Stephan Schmidt, Bloomberg CityLab, September 9, 2021. A Cornell study analyzed over 100 past pedestrian malls to see what characteristics could help shared streets thrive.

Over 3,000 acres of East Bay open space to be preserved as state park in $31 million deal

By Joseph Gena, East Bay Times, September 8, 2021. Scientists have described the land as a ‘biologically unique habitat’ and a place long considered a ‘sensitive historical site’ by local Native American groups.

Cupertino again at odds with the state over the SB 35 Vallco project

By Marisa Kendall, Mercury News, September 7, 2021. Department of Housing and Community Development says the project’s special approval under SB 35 should be granted an extension since it was impeded by litigation.

Berkeley seeks objective standards for thorniest aspects of new developments

By Nico Savidge, Berkeleyside, September 5, 2021. Objective standards are becoming an increasingly important way for cities to exercise local control over development.

Chinese ghost cities are finally stirring to life

By James Mayger, Lucille Liu, Yujing Liu, Lin Zhu, and Yinan Zhao, Bloomberg News, September 1, 2021. The government wants the trend of urban migration to continue and for new population centers provide an alternative to Beijing and Shanghai, which restrict new residents.

San Jose approves strategy to spread out multi-unit affordable housing citywide

By Lloyd Alaban, San Jose Spotlight, August 31, 2021. The plan divides San Jose into three categories to prioritize where to build affordable housing based on poverty and crime rates.

City of Napa housing division revamps rental housing rehabilitation loan program

By Edward Booth, Napa Valley Register, August 30, 2021. The maximum loan for home repairs has increased by tens of thousands of dollars in most cases.

Bay Area cities and counties falling dramatically short of affordable housing goals

By Kiley Russell, Bay City News Foundation, August 27, 2021. New local financing strategies and the state’s first regional affordable housing financing authority look to bridge funding gaps in the next five years of the current planning cycle.

How arenas like the Oakland Coliseum became emblematic of California’s housing crisis

By Erika Paz, Calmatters, August 24, 2021. California’s Department of Housing and Community Development cited Oakland and two other cities over using public land for arenas without integrating affordable housing.

Judge rules that UC Berkeley must study the impacts of growth before raising enrollment

By Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside, August 24, 2021. Cal must redo the SEIR to address certain issues, including how student enrollment increases have affected noise, housing, and displacement in Berkeley.

Oakland residents fighting a mysterious startup taking over their quiet street

By Georgia Freedman, SFGate, August 23, 2021. Neighbors argue that CloudKitchens, a kitchen-to-delivery startup, gamed the city’s zoning and permitting process to operate in a low-income area.

Tension over new development rises amid water scarcity in Healdsburg

By Mary Callahan, The Press Democrat, August 23, 2021. Opponents claim the city’s 2015 Urban Water Management Plan considered an “erroneously rosy supply outlook”.

Major changes to minimum parking standards could be ahead in San Jose

By Bryanna Paz, KALW, August 11, 2021. City officials argue this will reduce the number of single-occupant vehicle commuter trips.

Humboldt County, ‘where climate and Covid migration converge’

By Sarah Holder, Bloomberg CityLab, August 9, 2021. With climate change, Covid, and a housing crunch, Humboldt County has become a refuge for people in high fire risk areas.

California Supreme Court denies review in Berkeley Shellmound case

By Wendel Rosen LLP, August 2, 2021. Justices uphold Court of Appeal’s view that projects qualifying under SB 35 are protected from local historic preservation controls.

Blue Ribbon Task Force approves transit action plan reform in the Bay Area

By Curtis Driscoll, San Mateo Daily Journal, July 29, 2021. The plan calls for improving service, evaluating funding, and completing a business-case analysis of potential transit network management reforms by mid-2022.

Largest solar plant in Bay Area opposed by Livermore farmers and environmentalists

By Mark Chediak, Bloomberg Green, July 29, 2021. To meet its goal of a carbon-neutral grid by 2045, California will need to triple its annual solar and wind installations.

The solution to Mendocino’s water shortage might involve a very old train

By Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, July 29, 2021. If an emergency fix like the old train is agreed upon, there are still questions about the long-term viability of Mendocino’s water supply.

Building trades push for union workforce in affordable housing bills

By Manuela Tobias, East Bay Times, July 27, 2021. The State Building and Construction Trades council claims non-union construction workers “barely float above the poverty line.”

Op-Ed: “It’s hard to have faith in a state that can’t even house its people”

By Ned Resnikoff, New York Times, July 26, 2021. Homelessness is a humanitarian disaster and a threat to democracy. The cost to overcome it will be high, but the cost of inaction is far higher.

State takes initiative to promote 230-unit Marin housing project

By Richard Halstead, Marin Independent Journal, July 24, 2021. The project is one of ten following an executive order to create an inventory of state-owned parcels suitable for expedited housing development.

‘Present-day redlining’: Black Bay Area homeowners say their properties are being undervalued

By Lauren Hepler, San Francisco Chronicle, July 23, 2021. The federal government has already vowed to recommend appraisal reforms.

Urban farm housing project moves forward in Santa Clara

Stephanie Lam, San Jose Spotlight, July 22, 2021. The developer estimates that the project will account for roughly 10 percent of Santa Clara’s low-income housing target.

Alameda may provide tiny cabins, motel rooms, for homeless residents

By Peter Hegarty, East Bay Times, July 21, 2021. Alameda is still exploring how to implement new permanent housing for the area’s unhoused people.

Bay Area refineries must dramatically cut pollution, Air District says in historic vote

By Ted Goldberg, KQED, July 21, 2021. Air district staff said the rule change will save lives and millions of dollars in health costs.

Visual report: How sea level rise threatens the Bay Area’s roads

By John King, San Francisco Chronicle, July 16, 2021. Sonoma County’s Highway 37 provides a dramatic example of flooding vulnerabilities in the Bay Area’s highway system.

This is how much single-family zoning is costing San Franciscans

By Susie Neilson, San Francisco Chronicle, July 12, 2021. A pair of University of Pennsylvania researchers quantified increased land costs due to “restrictive zoning” in SF and other US cities.

SF clashes with scooter company over permit violations: City wins

By Carly Graf, San Francisco Examiner, July 7, 2021. Scoot is out. Two scooter companies remain as options to cover transit service gaps left by the pandemic.

Wealth, class, and remote work reshape California’s boomtowns

By Sarah Parvini, Los Angeles Times, July 2, 2021. Higher-earning migrants also are creating new jobs for working-class locals.

Sunset view from darker foreground skyscrapers across lighted dock area to san francisco skyline and orange yellow sky

Northern News September 2021

SF skyline from Oakland March 2021. IN THIS ISSUE: Don Bradley profile • RLUIPA • Three housing articles: ditching R-1, getting back to the missing middle, and hotels for survivors • Locals win state, national awards • New AICP CM requirements • New admits to AICP • Career advice • Who’s where (19) • Planning news roundup (17) • Where in the world (4).

Woman with painted nails shows a fan of various US currency, from one dollar to fifty

Northern Section Treasurer Nominations due Sept 30

The two-year term begins January 1, 2022. Submit names of qualifying APA members by September 30, 2021.

How policymakers could guide redevelopment in California’s fire-prone areas

By Peter Arcuni, KQED, June 22, 2021. The report bases its recommendations on an analysis of three rebuilding alternatives for Santa Rosa, Ventura, and Paradise.

Looking above low residential building roofs to a skyline of skyscrapers

Northern News July-August 2021

SF skyline from Barcelona Avenue (Aliza Knox). IN THIS ISSUE: Meet a local planner • Planning through an equity lens • Cities are better without cars • Contracts compromise equity, access • Get CM ethics credits • Who’s where (7) • Planning news roundup (17) • Where in the world (4).

How can commercial redevelopment address the California housing crisis?

By Joe Distefano, UrbanFootprint, June 16, 2021. Spatial analytics company UrbanFootprint shows the development potential and limits of SB 6 as currently written.

TransitCenter launches San Francisco-Oakland transit equity dashboard

From TransitCenter, June 17, 2021. The dashboard visualizes disparities in accessibility and reliability of transit across race, income, and other characteristics from February 2020 through February 2021.

A little more remote work could change rush hour a lot

By Emily Badger, The New York Times, June 11, 2021. Less congested city streets could mean faster bus travel, more space for cyclists, and more humane commutes for the people who still drive.

CA high-speed rail will get back federal grant Trump withheld

By Lauren Hernández, San Francisco Chronicle, June 10, 2021. The grant funding will assist the High-Speed Rail Authority in completing the project’s ‘initial operating segment’ of the system.

Racial segregation runs deep in San Jose, report says

By Lloyd Alaban, San Jose Spotlight, June 8, 2021. The city intends to incorporate its findings from the state-mandated Assessment of Fair Housing into the next housing element.

Appeal filed against West Berkeley shellmound development

By Mimia Ousilas And Nadia Farjami, The Daily Californian, June 8, 2021. The appeal would block the developers from using SB 35 instead of the city’s usual zoning approval process.

San Jose and San Francisco among cities that saw sharpest pandemic population loss

By William H. Frey, Brookings, June 8, 2021. These population declines could be part of a new trend or, to some degree, temporary.

Klamath River management pivotal in a brewing California-Oregon water crisis

By Emma Marris, The Atlantic, June 5, 2021. Policy that promotes restoration led by Klamath Tribes, federal investment, and partnership with California and Oregon farmers will likely be crucial.

Visual report: How sea level rise threatens SF’s Mission Creek neighborhoods

By John King, San Francisco Chronicle, June 4, 2021. Mission Bay is home to thousands of people, and action on sea level rise is urgent.

Oakland considers banning ADUs in the hills to avoid fire danger

By Natalie Orenstein, Oaklandside, June 3, 2021. At a Planning Commission meeting, planning staff and the Oakland Fire Department proposed a blanket ban, while many callers wanted a targeted approach.

New MTC study: Findings for assisting seniors, disabled people on Bay Area transit

From Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Mass Transit Magazine, June 2, 2021. A partnership between MTC and World Institute on Disability resulted in a 2.5-year research and community engagement study with recommendations.

Oakland’s Slow Streets experience may inspire the future of cities

By Adam Mann, Wired UK, June 2, 2021. Oakland’s commitment to equity and willingness to experiment with the public right of way opened new directions in planning.

SF is about to see a wave of affordable housing projects bring 900 homes to the city

By J.K. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, May 28, 2021. Mayor London Breed said the nine projects represent a ‘central pillar’ of the city’s post-Covid recovery.

San Jose approves Google’s downtown village and campus in historic vote

By Maggie Angst, Mercury News, May 26, 2021. The monumental project marks the largest economic development deal ever made in San Jose.

2020 annual statewide planning survey results released

From Office of Planning and Research, May 24, 2021. OPR’s survey reveals the impacts of COVID-19 on city and county planning departments and actions taken on a range of current challenges.

SB 7 could speed up housing, but it’s unclear how much it will help

By J.K. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, May 21, 2021. The legislation requires 15 percent of new housing units be affordable to low-income families and that the projects be built with union labor.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who’ve shaped our cities

By Taylor Moore, Planning Magazine, Spring 2021. This roundup selects just three of the 12 described in the article.

Biden’s infrastructure bill could help tear down I-980 separating West Oakland from downtown

By Nico Savidge, Mercury News, May 11, 2021. One of the Bay Area’s least-used freeways could become a tree-lined boulevard with new parks, housing and other development.

California’s population declined for the first time, and only one Bay Area county grew

By Leonardo Castañeda, Mercury News, May 7, 2021. The population loss was felt strongly in the Bay Area, where Contra Costa was the only county to gain residents.

San Rafael council approves downtown corridor overhaul

By Adrian Rodriguez, Marin Independent Journal, May 7, 2021. Repaving, extending sidewalks, and a new bike lane are part of the plan.

South City scopes affordable housing options

By Austin Walsh, Daily Journal, May 3, 2021. City Council considered raising commercial linkage fees to purchase land for affordable housing development and further negotiations on some large projects.

Redwood Coast forests may be involved in justifying higher CO2 emissions

By Lisa Song and James Temple, ProPublica, April 29, 2021. A new analysis identifies serious flaws in the methodology used by the state Air Resources Board to assign carbon offset value to forests.

HCD launches housing element Annual Progress Report dashboard

By Chris Lee and Marina Espinoza, California State Association of Counties, April 23, 2021. The dashboard consolidates previously scattered state housing data into an easy-to-use visual format.

First-ever statewide ADU owner survey shows growth, room for improvement

By UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation, April 22, 2021. Results suggest that ADUs do provide relatively affordable rental housing units for Californians, but the benefits may not be equitably shared.

Appeals court rules apartment complex can go up at site Ohlone consider sacred site

By Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside, April 21, 2021. The developers first tried normal development channels, then redesigned the project pursuant to SB 35.

HUD announces student winners of 2021 innovation in affordable housing design and planning competition

From HUD User, PD&R Edge, April 19, 2021. Fresno Housing Authority, in partnership with HUD, challenged student teams to draft affordable housing proposals for a five-parcel site in an agricultural community.

Northern News June 2021

Meet a local planner • Big GP update for Oakland (photo above) • Two articles on SB 35 ruling • Student field research results • How to fix participatory planning • ‘Where in the world’ photos • Who’s where • Planning news roundup, and much more.

There’s still time to apply for a CPF scholarship

Continuing students, APPLY BY MAY 31. Watch a webinar with information on the scholarships and tips for a winning application .

Calif. officials announce plan to house 75% of Bay Area’s homeless population by 2024

By Jana Kadah, SFGate, April 14, 2021. The regional plan has input and organizing from the Governor’s Office, local governments, and philanthropic partners.

Millbrae blocks housing deal that would create hundreds of apartments near SFO

By J.K. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, April 14, 2021. The California Department of Housing and Community Development warned that Millbrae’s zoning change violated state law.

San Francisco Bay: Protection from costly disasters is being thrown away, scientists say

By Paul Rogers, San Jose Mercury News, April 13, 2021. Experts say that recovering dredged sediment costs less than seawalls and brings more benefits.

Stocky modular buildings are popping up in East Bay – developers share their experience

By John King, San Francisco Chronicle, April 10, 2021. Sometimes the potential savings meet expectations; often, they don’t.

Google-backed affordable home site in downtown San Jose could sprout near Shark Tank

By George Avalos, San Jose Mercury News, April 7, 2021. Google intends to donate the land to the city for the development of affordable homes.

HUD report – new approach for estimating costs of homeless encampment responses

From HUD User, April 6, 2021. San Jose’s experience, along with three other U.S. cities, informed a framework that can be applied to many kinds of communities.

The ideology hiding in SimCity’s black box – with comment from James Castañeda, AICP

By Clayton Ashley, Polygon, April 1, 2021. The game was inspired by a book suggesting that social policies meant to help cities are in fact detrimental to their success.

New urban village development threatens to displace San Jose’s 60-year-old Berryessa flea market

By Jennifer Wadsworth, San Jose Spotlight, March 31, 2021. Berryessa flea market business owners and their representatives expect the city or some other public entity to help prevent displacement and gentrification.

President Biden’s infrastructure spending plan could benefit big Bay Area transit projects

By Michael Cabanatuan, San Francisco Chronicle, March 31, 2021. The plan is expected to benefit California’s transit agencies and high-speed rail project.

New research: urban and transport planning linked to 2,000 premature deaths per year in Barcelona and Madrid

From Barcelona Institute for Global Health, March 30, 2021. This study is the first to estimate premature mortality impacts and the distribution by socioeconomic status of multiple environmental exposures related to urban planning and transport in the two cities.

What we got wrong about Uber and Lyft

By Shira Ovide, The New York Times, March 29, 2021. A growing body of evidence suggests that on-demand ride services have negatively impacted traffic in major urban downtowns.

California may launch its own version of the Depression-era WPA

By Emily Nonko, Next City, March 25, 2021. The proposal, modeled on SF Creative Corps, would support artists and performers serving as public communicators.

Northern News May 2021

(Above: The Ferry Point tunnel connects Point Richmond’s ‘Bayside’ with its ‘refinery side.’ Photo: George Osner, AICP) • IN THE MAY ISSUE: Updating plans for Milpitas’ already successful TOD • Market research for post-pandemic planning • Northern Section’s 2021 award winners • A book review • ‘Where in the world’ photos • ‘Who’s where’ • ‘Planning news roundup,’ and much more.

Northern News April 2021

(Russian Hill photo by N. Knox, May 1966.) Miroo Desai, AICP, is our local planner interview. Alan Hoffman on inverted planning for transportation. HUD USER on the spatial heterogeneity of gentrification. And much more!

11 women whose work can inspire post-pandemic planning

By Lindsay Neiman, Planning Magazine, Winter 2021. This roundup selects just four of the eleven described in the article.

In some cities, the pandemic’s economic pain may continue for a decade

By Mark Muro and Yang You, Brookings, March 11, 2021. New forecasts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics offer a useful caution.

Proposed legislation would give cities fewer excuses for blocking housing

By Josh Stephens, CP&DR, March 8, 2021. Hundreds of proposed bills would provide tools for the state and cities to increase housing production.

Study finds wildfire smoke more harmful to humans than pollution from cars

By Nathan Rott, NPR, March 5, 2021. Mitigation for exposure relies on people and households and communities knowing when to avoid smoke exposure.

Bay Area’s migration is real, but Postal Service data shows California exodus isn’t

By Roland Li, Susie Nielson, San Francisco Chronicle, March 2, 2021. Housing costs are often cited as the main reason to move.

Petaluma becomes first in the US to ban new gas stations

By Andrew Chamings, SFGate, March 2, 2021. Existing gas stations will only be allowed to add infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Where the ‘15-minute city’ falls short

By Feargus O’Sullivan, Bloomberg CityLab, March 2, 2021. Toronto-based urban designer and thinker Jay Pitter argues it risks entrenching social divisions.

Will ending single-family zoning create more housing?

By J.K. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, February 28, 2021. Developers, architects, and housing advocates provide their perspective on the question.

Berkeley begins process to end single-family zoning

By Supriya Yelimeli, Berkeleyside, February 24, 2021. Berkeley was the first city in the United States to enact single-family zoning in 1916.

Cities aren’t shrinking because everyone’s moving out, but because no one’s moving in

By Henry Grabar, Slate, February 22, 2021. If the populations of the nation’s largest cities are truly plummeting, they are in big trouble.

“11 Black urbanists every planner should know”

By Pete Saunders, Planning Magazine, Winter 2021. This roundup selects just four of the eleven described in the article.

What happens when SF’s largest employer goes ‘work from anywhere’

By Laura Bliss and Sarah Holder, Bloomberg CityLab, February 12, 2021. After so much baggage attached to Salesforce’s urban footprint, it now faces a potentially emptier future.

The Californians are coming. So is their housing crisis.

By Conor Dougherty, The New York Times, February 12, 2021. For those tethered to the local economy, the influx of wealthier outsiders pushes housing costs further out of reach.

New proposed bill sets ambitious offshore wind farm target

By Paul Rogers, The Mercury News, February 11, 2021. Humboldt County is one of the most likely locations for the first big wind farms to be phased in under the bill.

Analysis: Strategies to lower cost and speed permanent supportive housing production

From UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation, February 9, 2021. Four factors led to cost and time savings on the 833 Bryant Street development compared to similar projects.

YIMBYs sue for even more housing via RHNA

By Benjamin Schneider, SF Weekly, February 4, 2021. Pro-housing activists accuse the state of underestimating the Bay Area’s housing allocation target.

A Sunnyvale Toyota dealership is turning its car lot into apartments

By Nate Berg, Fast Company, February 3, 2021. The proposal converts the lot and the space above the dealership into mixed-use.

How the federal government could help kill highways

By Max Reyes, Bloomberg CityLab, February 1, 2021. A new bill proposes funding for highway removal or alternation.

Berkeley overhauls off-street parking

By Emilie Raguso, Berkeleyside, January 27, 2021. Most new housing projects in Berkeley will no longer have to build off-street parking.

Mill Valley resolution would oppose state housing mandates

By Lorenzo Morotti, Marin Independent Journal, January 27, 2021. The resolution addresses both local control preemption and RHNA targets.

Northern News March 2021

(Mt. Tamalpais and Angel Island, from Oakland. Photo: E. Rynecki, Feb. 2021) Featured articles: • Artist-driven community engagement • Work through community conflict on climate change by confronting fears • Pandemic severely impacted taxable retail sales in Napa-Sonoma Wine Country • and a seven-page manga on the life and work of Denise Scott Brown.

How SB 35 and AB 1763 pushed through a Marin County affordable housing project

By William Fulton, CP&DR, Feb 8, 2021. Using SB 35, the developer could build twice as many units in a building twice as tall as would otherwise be permitted.

San Francisco office vacancy rate eclipses financial-crisis high

By Noah Buhayar, Bloomberg, January 12, 2021. There are already signs of an early rebound in leases.

Newsom’s proposed budget includes intergovernmental Housing Accountability Unit

Josh Stephens, California Planning & Development Report, January 11, 2021. The unit will act as a housing ‘ombudsman’ and help cities navigate RHNA compliance.

SF, UCSF community benefits package for Parnassus Heights project not enforceable

NBC Bay Area, January 4, 2021, and SF Examiner, January 11, 2021. The hospital modernization and expansion promises investments in housing, transit, and workforce training, but supervisors want legal assurance of UCSF’s commitments.

Caltrain talks regional rail

Curtis Driscoll, Daily Journal Staff, January 8, 2021. A possible partnership with BART would integrate transit schedules and services.

Newsom wants to send $600 to millions of Californians, extend renter protections

Ben Christopher, CalMatters, January 8, 2021. It’s not clear when these proposed measures will be formally introduced and if they actually pass the legislature.

New study suggests Uber and Lyft could increase car ownership

By David Grossman, Inverse, January 7, 2021. Contrary to their expectations, researchers found a slight increase on average across 224 cities.

‘Slow Streets’ disrupted city planning. What comes next?

Laura Bliss, Bloomberg CityLab, January 6, 2021. City planners and equity advocates in Oakland and across the country reflect on the potential for trauma-informed planning.

Steep rent declines across the Bay Area in 2020

By Kellie Hwang, San Francisco Chronicle, January 5, 2021. Seasonal effects on rents mean they are likely to stay low for several more months.

Residential redevelopment of commercially zoned land in California

New analysis finds untapped potential statewide for mixed-use and infill development.

Why don’t we treat housing as infrastructure?

Sarah Karlinsky and Cristian Bevington, City Monitor, December 22, 2020. A new SPUR report showcases international strategies for housing production and affordability.

Northern News February 2021

(Above: Marin County’s only unaltered one-room schoolhouse, in use 1864-1957. Photo: George Osner, AICP) This month we have four featured and local articles including one by North Coast planner Krystle Heaney, AICP, on planning in small towns.

Northern Section counties receive over $543 million for transportation projects

By Jasmine Lee, Daily Californian, December 7, 2020. State funding will support multi-modal transportation infrastructure, including BART upgrades.

Housing measure puts San Mateo in production quandary

By Sarah Klearman, CP&DR, December 6, 2020. San Mateo voters narrowly extended existing height and density caps, potentially precluding a push for more housing.

Richmond council approves controversial shoreline mixed-use project

By Annie Sciacca, Bay Area News Group, December 3, 2020. The state has approved a site remediation plan, but activists and residents want a more thorough removal of soil.

‘Overdue’ ordinance requires SF landords to report vacancies

By CBS SF Bay Area, December 3, 2020. Vacancy data may be used to reduce speculation on rental units.

West Coast cottage reforms lead to explosive rise in permits

By Nisma Gabobe, Sightline Institute, December 2, 2020. In 2018 and 2019, cities across the West Coast successfully promoted accessory dwelling unit reforms to address the housing crisis.

Livermore development fight over new major solar farm

By J.K. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, November 30, 2020. Livermore’s experience could become more common as California pursues 100 percent zero-carbon electricity.

San Francisco, trade unions at odds over modular construction

By J.K. Dineen, The San Francisco Chronicle, November 27, 2020. Trade leaders argue that cutting housing costs should not sacrifice workers’ wages.

Ambitious Sonoma Coast project paves way for ‘managed retreat’

By Rosanna Xia, Los Angeles Times, November 27, 2020. A Bay Area glimpse into the future for other coastal communities facing sea-level rise.

Do California ag counties hold solutions to Monterey County farmworker housing crisis?

By Kate Cimini, Salinas Californian, November 23, 2020. As farmworkers and their families dangerously overcrowd available housing, California’s coastal counties look to streamline production of safer housing.

ABAG launches energy evaluation tool for climate action planning

From ABAG, November 19, 2020. The tool uses one of the largest sets of disaggregated building energy data available in the nation.

Audit slams California for wasting billions in bonds

By Jennifer Wadsworth, San Jose Inside, November 19, 2020. The sweeping audit uncovered mismanaged and lapsed funds that could have supported affordable housing.

Northern News December 2020-January 2021

(Vasona Lake County Park, Los Gatos. Photo: Juan Borrelli, AICP) We’ve kept Northern News coming your way, and despite the pandemic, readership has increased by 60 to 80 percent since our March issue. Thank you, loyal readers!

Support the planners of tomorrow

In spite of all the craziness and losses in 2020, I’m so grateful for my family, good friends, and for my job as the City of San Jose’s Small Business Ally, which has allowed me to work from home to continue to serve my community — in particular minority, new immigrant, and vulnerable population small businesses that have been hit so hard by the ongoing pandemic. I’m also grateful to be able to give back to my profession by serving as the California Planning Foundation (CPF) President. Please help us reach our 2020 CPF Scholarship Fundraising goal by making a tax-deductible donation securely online.

Norman Foster says Covid-19 won’t change our cities

By Tom Ravenscroft, DeZeen, October 13, 2020. The master architect believes that trends of change were already in motion before the pandemic.

What do Oakland, Vilnius, and Rotterdam have in common?

By Derek Robertson, The Guardian, October 12, 2020. The phenomenon of temporarily reclaiming city streets for pedestrians has swept the world’s cities.

Google presents bold vision for downtown San Jose campus

By Victoria Song, Gizmodo, October 9, 2020. It remains to be seen how the local San José community feels about it.

Executive order directs California to conserve land, coasts

By Alexei Koseff, The San Francisco Chronicle, October 7, 2020. The order also includes directives to streamline land restoration and promote biodiversity.

New research: British Columbia shelter system tests homeless stipend

By Bridgette Watson, CBC News, October 7, 2020. Cash given directly to a select group of Vancouver-area homeless residents improved near-term outcomes.

Four Bay Area counties fail equity requirement for reopening

By Fiona Kelliher and Nico Savidge, The Mercury News, October 6, 2020. The metric attempts to address the pandemic’s disparate impact on California’s Black, Latinx, and Pacific Islander residents.

Pandemic and wildfires challenge California’s economy

By Conor Dougherty, The New York Times, October 5, 2020. Residents and leaders are rethinking where and how the state will grow.

Floodgates in Venice work in first major test

By Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York Times, October 3, 2020. A newly operable network of long-planned floodgates mitigates some effects of climate change.

Why Canadian metropolises will thrive despite the pandemic

By Joe Berridge, The Globe and Mail, Oct 2, 2020. Berridge assesses the challenges and possible paths forward during Toronto’s Covid recovery.

Richmond creates affordable homes from abandoned houses

By CBS SF Bay Area (KPIX), October 1, 2020. The City has partnered with the nonprofit Richmond Community Foundation to repair and sell the homes.

New law aims for fairness in foreclosure market

By Marisa Kendall, The Mercury News, September 29, 2020. The bill intends to prevent corporate homebuyers from purchasing bundles of foreclosed homes.

New CEQA law exempts sustainable transit projects

By Carly Graf, San Francisco Examiner, September 28, 2020. Improvements for pedestrian, cyclist, and transit infrastructure need to meet certain criteria to be exempt.

MTC recommends telecommuting requirement

By Laura Bliss, Bloomberg CityLab, September 25, 2020. The remote-work recommendation is one of 35 strategies in Plan Bay Area 2050.

Northern News November 2020

Photo of Bay Bridge eastern span by Rich Hay. In this issue: Revitalizing our neighborhoods and parks • What to do about Plan Bay Area • Holiday planning • Mentorship program • Project Homekey in Oakland • Planning news roundup • And lots more.

The West’s wildfires collide with its housing crisis

By Laura Bliss, Bloomberg CityLab, Sept. 18, 2020. Oregon was short 155,000 homes before fires destroyed thousands more, including one county’s most affordable.

New research: Success for Santa Clara County homeless housing program

By Marisa Kendall, The Mercury News, Sept. 17, 2020. Results of the study are significant because this type of program has rarely been studied using a control group.

Northern News October 2020

Above, Marin sun and smoke © George Osner, AICP, 9-1-20. In this issue: Meet a local planner • Celebrate 2020’s best with new hashtag • and Planning news roundup has you covered, ICYMI

State housing mandate doubles Bay Area production target

By Susan Steimle, CBS SF Bay Area, September 10, 2020. The new RHNA numbers are out and they’re higher than ever before.

Orange skies across California as wildfire smoke blankets state

By Lori A. Carter, The Press Democrat, Sept. 9, 2020. The ‘creepy, eerie’ sky colors seen Wednesday were caused by particles in the smoke that scattered blue light.

$1B development would bring 850 housing units to SF waterfront

By Joshua Sabatini, The San Francisco Examiner September 8, 2020. The proposal creatively redevelops the site, using the state’s density bonus to achieve viability.

Google village: Legislative flop impacts downtown San Jose project

By George Avalos, The Mercury News, Sept. 4, 2020. To get streamlined review, the project would need the governor’s certification or a special legislative session.

Housing solutions fizzle in legislature

By Ethan Elkind, September 3, 2020. Housing policy impacts all of our major societal problems: racial injustice, segregation, greenhouse gas emissions, economic inequality.

NACTO: Despite pandemic, micromobility is here to stay

By Chris Teale, SmartCities Dive, September 2, 2020. Shared bikes and e-scooters saw 136 million trips in 2019, up 60% from 2018.

San Jose passes new fees for funding affordable housing

By Maggie Angst, Bay Area News Group, September 2, 2020. New commercial linkage fees give the city another affordable housing funding stream.

Lafayette’s controversial ‘Terraces’ apartments approved

By Sam Richards, Bay City News Foundation, August 25, 2020. The 315-unit project epitomizes the regional debate about where and how housing is developed.

Decades of racist housing policy left neighborhoods sweltering

By Brad Plumer and Nadja Popovich, The New York Times, August 24, 2020. Research shows formerly redlined urban areas experience higher summer temperatures.

The price of saving Paradise

By Laura Bliss, Bloomberg CityLab, August 25, 2020. “The fire was a monumental event and altered people’s way of thinking about things,” including whether the entire community should be surrounded by defensible space.

SF sees historic shift in housing inventory

By Andrew Chamings, SFGate, August 15, 2020. The convergence of coronavirus and the high cost of homeownership in San Francisco may have caused residents to leave for California’s less costly regions.

SF finally approves 1,100 homes at Balboa Reservoir

By Trisha Thadani, San Francisco Chronicle, August 12, 2020. The new project includes 550 affordable units, of which 150 are reserved for City College teachers and staff.

New research: Advancing environmental justice while rebuilding existing locally unwanted land uses

By Miriam Solis, Planetizen, August 11, 2020. A case study of a San Francisco wastewater plant considers the consequences of redeveloping, rather than siting, a locally unwanted land use.

Portland passes the ‘most pro-housing reform’ to low-density zones in US history

By Michael Andersen, Sightline Institute, August 11, 2020. Portland’s new upzoning reforms allow for a wide range of “middle housing” citywide and removes parking mandates from most residential land.

Report: Single-family zoning dominates Bay Area housing, presenting barrier to integration

By Marc Abizeid, UC Berkeley’s Othering & Belonging Institute, August 11, 2020. From the first-ever analysis of the proportion of single-family zoning in every Bay Area jurisdiction comes five general policy approaches to help address racial residential segregation.

Minor reparations

By Roxane Gay, Work Friend, The New York Times, August 9, 2020. It is absolutely unacceptable that your agency is asking you to spend your own money to improve the agency’s thinking and efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Sales tax to fund Caltrain will go before voters

Bay City News Service, Mountain View Voice, August 8, 2020. The tax would generate the necessary funding to operate the imperiled system if ultimately approved by two-thirds of voters across three affected counties.

Study: Marin to experience worst traffic delays from sea level rise

By Will Houston, Marin Independent Journal, August 7, 2020. A new Stanford study shows the North Bay may receive less flooding compared to other parts of the Bay Area, but the flooding occurs at critical connections where few alternative routes exist.

How do households describe where they live?

By Shawn Bucholtz, The Edge, August 6, 2020. New survey data collected by HUD and the US Census Bureau shows most people view themselves as living in suburbs, even those who live in central cities.

Nonmembers ask APA to support defunding the police

By Brentin Mock, Bloomberg CityLab, August 6, 2020. A letter with hundreds of signatories from across the planning field argues that planning decisions have historically contributed to police violence and harassment of Black people.

Bay Area cities reluctantly approve housing in face of state laws

By J.K. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, August 5, 2020. From San Bruno to Castro Valley to Lafayette, major Bay Area housing approvals have been compelled by SB 35 and SB 330.

Sausalito confronts historic inequities, considers affordable housing on its waterfront

J.K. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, August 5, 2020. After a general plan change, Sausalito residents argue whether to expand light industry or allow some senior or affordable housing.

Opinion: We must plan racial justice in our cities

By Dorothy Walker, Streetsblog USA, August 3, 2020. Dorothy Walker, founding president of APA, says cities’ local land-use decisions are “ripe for transformation” to lower barriers to housing for the “disadvantaged, disenfranchised, and the community at large.”

Revised SB 35 Guidelines near completion

William Fulton, CP&DR, August 2, 2020. The Department of Housing and Community Development has released a draft of updated guidelines for implementing SB 35 locally.

After 250 Years, Tribe regains Big Sur ancestral lands

By Kyle Edwards, Native News Online, July 29, 2020. The Esselen tribe plans to use the land to revitalize, and educate the public about, its culture, traditional ceremonies, and history.

Caltrans’ Low Carbon Transit Operations grants go to three North Coast jurisdictions

By Nazy Javid, KRCR News, July 29, 2020. The grants support free fares to populations that include low-income residents, youth and college students.

Northern News September 2020

(Photo: H-P garage, the 1938 birthplace of Silicon Valley, Palo Alto) This jam-packed issue has 29 articles: Nine cover some aspect of housing. And two former Section Directors tell us how planning is changing.

Northern News July-August 2020

(BLM Plaza, Washington, by Victoria Pickering bit.ly/3eZwi9A) In this double issue, six of eight featured articles, three of 10 under Northern Section, and five of 10 in the news roundup deal with Covid or BLM.

Caltrain’s future in limbo after Santa Clara County defers tax measure

By Luke Johnson, San Jose Spotlight, July 22, 2020. County lawmakers considered a proposed ballot measure for a one-eighth cent sales tax to prevent Caltrain from potentially shutting down, ultimately deferring a vote on the proposal to a special meeting on August 6.

The pandemic has pushed aside city planning rules, but to whose benefit?

By Emily Badger, The New York Times, July 20, 2020. As bike lanes and cafes sprout on streets, marginalized residents wonder when their priorities will get attention.

HCD awards millions to Northern Section cities for infill infrastructure

By Alicia Murillo, July 13, 2020. Approximately $279 million was awarded from the Infill Infrastructure Grant Program of 2019-2020, of which Northern Section cities received 44 percent.

Socially-distant community engagement: What we know

By Alyssa Chung, Meredith Rupp, and Carla Violet, July 23, 2020. What can we learn from planners who have adjusted their outreach to conform to social distancing protocols? Photo: Screenshot of an online presentation of a site plan to a virtual audience.

Meet a local planner: Lina Velasco, AICP

Lina Velasco, AICP, Community Development Director for the City of Richmond, holds a master of community and regional planning from Cornell University. She discusses her work, professional views, and issues in her city. Interview by Catarina Kidd, AICP, July 2020.

Patience, planners; patience

(Zoning, San Luis Ranch Specific Plan, San Luis Obispo) By Henry Pontarelli, July 8, 2020. Don’t expect to see cities transformed before your eyes during your planning career. Consensus is hard fought and hard earned, funding is scarce, conviction comes in cycles; but incremental change will build to meet collective goals.

Equitably resolving public space in the time of Covid-19

(BLM Plaza, Washington, DC. Photo: Victoria Pickering, https://bit.ly/3eZwi9A) By Georgia Sarkin, AICP, July 6, 2020. How can cities evolve for the better after Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter? Five factors affecting public space are crucial to consider — infrastructure, evolution, density, mobility, and equity.

Virtual vs. in-person community meetings

(Photo: William Cooley) By Sajuti Rahman Haque, June 29, 2020. Community meeting and engagement tactics are evolving to accommodate Covid-19 distancing orders, but key characteristics of in-person, physically present meetings remain invaluable.

Pandemic call and response: Planners protecting and promoting health

(Dolores Park photo by Christopher Michel https://bit.ly/3j1OlhJ) After nearly 200 interviews with local governments, planners, and communities, Diana Benitez and Jessica Medina report on actions being taken to protect community health, and implications for implementing SB1000, the Planning for Healthy Communities Act.

A rewarding profession

(Photo: Tom Rumble, https://bit.ly/3esvlpo) By David Woltering, AICP, June 24, 2020. Despite its challenges, our profession is a noble one. This business of creating and maintaining safe, healthy, and livable communities for all can be immensely satisfying and extremely interesting.

Bay Area of 2050 will be more crowded — planners want to make it more equitable, too

By John King, San Francisco Chronicle, July 20, 2020. Only July 10, Association of Bay Area Governments and Metropolitan Transportation Commission released a draft of Plan Bay Area 2050 for public comment. It emphasizes 25 “bold strategies” for making the region “affordable, connected, diverse, healthy and vibrant for all.”

“After years of debate,” San Jose may charge non-residential developers to support affordable housing

By Sonya Herrera, San Jose Spotlight, July 18, 2020. The commercial linkage fee will go to the City Council on Aug. 25 and become effective on Nov. 14, if adopted.

Riots long ago seeded luxury living today

From The New York Times, July 16, 2020, comes another perceptive article on gentrification and race by Emily Badger and Quoctrung Bui. High-end development has transformed some Black neighborhoods into high-end development decades after they were scarred by unrest.

The 15-minute city as Covid-19 recovery

By Patrick Sisson, CityLab, July 15, 2020. To improve quality of life for an urbanite and boost the possibilities for municipal and economic recovery, you need to reduce the access radius for six essential functions: Living-dwelling, working, supplying and buying, well-being and caring, learning, and leisure.

The hidden toll of California’s Black exodus

By Lauren Hepler, CalMatters, July 15, 2020. Old regimes of housing and job discrimination have given way to predatory loans, disinvestment, and flare-ups of racism or violence in areas that once promised a level playing field.

‘A mini-urban miracle,’ new Berkeley homeless housing could be model for the state

By Emilie Raguso, Berkeleyside, July 10, 2020. Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustments Board approved a new supportive housing complex that substantially lowered development costs through modular construction.

One to four: the market potential of fourplexes in California’s single-family neighborhoods

By Paavo Monkkonen, Ian Carlton, and Kate Macfarlane, UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, July 7, 2020. HCD guidelines emphasize realistic assessment of market and site capacity for new housing. Legislative efforts to promote fourplexes led UCLA’s Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies to analyze their feasibility on 6.8 million existing single-family home parcels.

New research: “Eighty-five percent solution: historical look at crowdsourcing speed limits and the question of safety”

By Brian D. Taylor and Yu Hong Hwang, June 30, 2020. The “85th percentile rule” has been used for decades to set speed limits in jurisdictions across the US. New research shows it originated earlier than most thought, and it was intended as a starting point in setting speed limits, not a firm guideline.

Who’s Where

News about Deland Chan, AICP; Afshan Hamid, AICP; Beth Altshuler Munoz; William (Billy) Riggs, PhD, AICP; Kyle Rose; Matthew Taecker, AICP; and Libby Tyler, PhD, FAICP.

A woman’s place is in the city

By Marisa Schulz, Next City, July 17, 2020. Listen to women; they are experts on the relationship between everyday life and the city. Unfortunately, women’s needs and viewpoints are underrepresented in cities.

General Plan Guideline alert: Environmental Justice

From OPR, June 24, 2020. This resource expands on the preliminary guidance provided in the 2017 General Plan Guidelines regarding environmental justice (EJ).

AICP | CM: Covid Conversations with APA New York Metro Chapter and PLANRED, Chile

By Alex Hinds and Hing Wong, AICP, July 24, 2020. The first webinar was recorded and posted. You can register for webinar Session 2 on July 30.

4 International experts on ZOOM: Cal Poly SLO CRP’s Spring 2020 series

Access to these lectures, sponsored by the City and Regional Planning Department at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, has been provided to you by Professor Vicente del Rio, PhD.

Earn required CM credits by viewing July’s law seminar

By Libby Tyler, FAICP, July 20, 2020. We’ve made it easy for you. View the webinar video and log your mandatory 1.5 AICP Certification Maintenance Law credits.

Graduating into a pandemic-afflicted world

(Photo: Brooke Cagle, cropped) In a four-minute video, Atisha Varshney, AICP, offers five tips for new graduates navigating the Covid-19 job market, and issues an invitation to join virtual roundtable discussions.

Director’s note

“Planning for equity and inclusion,” by Jonathan Schuppert, AICP, July 22, 2020. Take the time to understand our biases. Encourage our employers to offer bias training. There’s no action too small to start on this journey.

San José General Plan review and Station Area Advisory Group reconvening

Via email from Leslye Corsiglia, SV@Home, June 11, 2020. The SAAG will meet for the first time since January. All are welcome. Take the opportunity to offer feedback on the City’s most recent analyses and proposals related to the Diridon Station Area Plan. The General Plan Four-Year Review Task Force is also restarting, with the first video meeting June 25.

Nine pathways to much-needed housing

By Leila Hakimizadeh, AICP, and John David Beutler, AICP, June 3, 2020. Desperately-needed new housing can be added if we upgrade zoning and design standards and adopt policies that promote smart density, protect existing residents, and preserve affordable homes.

APA Statement on Righting the Wrongs of Racial Inequality

To read the APA Statement on Righting the Wrongs of Racial Inequality, May 31, 2020, go to  https://www.planning.org/policy/statements/2020/may31/ ShareFacebookTwitterLinkedinReddit

Bay Area billionaires are breaking my heart

By Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times, May 13, 2020. Rebuilding a fairer, more livable urban environment will take years of difficult work. It will require sacrifices from the wealthy.

Housing, the environment, the virus, and public transportation

Brief synopses of articles of interest to urban planners in addition to our longer summaries in “Planning news roundup.”

Northern News June 2020

(Photo: Part of an Earth Day project, Alto International School, Menlo Park) Local government planning in a post-COVID-19 world • TDM in a post-pandemic world • Reflections between Zoom meetings • Meet a local planner • Director’s note • Where in the world • Who’s where • Planning news roundup

Caltrain faces ‘existential crisis’

By Isabella Jibilian, San Francisco Examiner, May 8, 2020. Unlike BART and Muni, Caltrain is not funded by sales or property taxes. It depends on fares and parking fees to say afloat.

Second SB 35 ruling lets Vallco project proceed

By Marisa Kendall, The Mercury News, May 7, 2020. Ruling ends a years-long battle over massive redevelopment of failed shopping mall in Cupertino. Decisions in two SB 35 cases say cities must apply objective design and planning standards in a very clear way.

Will telecommuting yield the best long-term environmental benefit of COVID-19?

By Ethan Elkind, May 4, 2020. Working from home seems the most likely candidate for a pandemic culture-changer that reduces emissions.

Mobility: Who is moving and why?

By Riordan Frost, Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, May 4, 2020. Seven questions and answers about potential changes in residential mobility.

California shrinks; still most populous state

By Associated Press, May 2, 2020. California has been creeping toward 40 million residents without ever quite getting there.

Milan mayor: ‘People are ready’ for green change

By Laurie Goering, Thomson Reuters Foundation, May 4, 2020. Milan comes out of COVID-19 lockdown with a climate-conscious attitude, encouraging other cities to follow.